Greenwich Council propose closing Kidbrooke school

A primary school in Kidbrooke could be closed under plans from Greenwich Council and the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Holy Family Roman Catholic Primary School could close in August 2024 if the proposal is approved.

A factor behind the decision is falling pupil numbers. Schools receive funding per pupil which puts a strain on keeping it running.

However this could be a sort term move that rebounds as it sits in the midst one of London’s largest areas of housing growth. Kidbrooke Village is set to see around 5,400 homes with many still yet to be built. It surrounds the school site with work currently underway on thousands of homes.

Courtesy Berkeley Homes. Kidbrooke overview. School sits right of undeveloped plot in centre where construction has now begun

In the past month alone Berkeley Homes have sought to further increase future housing totals at two forthcoming plots.

Nearby also sits a plot of land where Transport for London are in the process of building 619 homes under a joint venture. The first residents are due to move in within weeks.

New homes beside Kidbrooke station in TfL joint venture. first residents due imminently

Then there’s 400+ homes being built by Greenwich Council themselves a few minutes walk away. That’s roughly 6,500 in total with many yet to be occupied.

Falling numbers

Another factor mentioned is that school’s Ofsted rating is “requires improvement”. Reducing birth rates are also highlighted which is a London-wide trend and in part due to extremely high housing and living costs.

However one may have thought being in the midst of 6,500 new homes would alleviate those wider pressures. Then again are many new Kidbrooke homes simply too expensive for many to start a family?

Greenwich Builds comprises solely council housing

If so, that should be alleviated somewhat as many future homes will be at lower levels than market rates. TfL’s has 50 per cent at “affordable” which is higher than average – though granted not all are exactly cheap if shared ownership in particular.

Greenwich developments are however entirely council housing. Forthcoming Berkeley Village plots include a large number of affordable housing including this block now nearing completion.

Currently under construction to south west of Kidbrooke Village site

Greenwich state other schools will accommodate children though Berkeley have a record of increasing total housing at various plots.

Nearby schools

There are a number of other primary schools in the area including Wingfield and Ealdham.  They are however a longer distance walk from many of the new homes now rising.

As for the future of Holy Family school, housing is an obvious contender. The site is directly next to blocks now rising at a phase named Central Gardens.

Now rising

The first concrete cores on this site are now up.

While the eastern half of the sizeable Holy Cross school site faces low rise building, it won’t to the west so any development would likely taper up quite sharply.

Looking at the site and similar densities nearby and a rough estimate would see 200-300 homes on site.

School sits beside large plot in centre of image now under construction

Consultation is set to begin on closure with a decision due in May 2024. If approved children in reception class plus those in Years 1-5 will transfer to other schools in September 2024.

 

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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